Vaping is a high risk activity for senior citizens, that should immediately stop. If you’re over 50, ditch the e-cigarette. The severe warnings by the FDA and Centers for Disease Control apply not only to the teenagers — but to you as well.
Reports of severe breathing problems and deaths related to vaping began to surface in late summer and have now soared to 1,299 confirmed vaping-related illnesses.
There have also been 26 confirmed deaths — half of which were senior citizens. in those over age 50, according to the CDC. The high percentage of deaths among older users suggest that they may be at greater risk for the most serious effects of vaping.
The problem has gotten so bad that a four-month emergency ban on all vaping products is underway in Massachusetts. And, New York state is battling a legal challenge to its proposed ban on flavored e-cigarette products. In addition, Kroger, Walgreens and Walmart are halting e-cigarette sales, too.
Vaping: Warning Signs For Seniors
E-cigarettes and vape pens heat up liquid nicotine. This produces an aerosol that users inhale. Nicotine vape products also contain flavorings, propylene glycol and glycerol.
Previous studies showed that smoking e-cigarettes is risky and doubles your chance of suffering a heart attack and mouth cancer.
Flavorings are another problem. Mayo Clinic researchers found noxious chemical fumes from an unknown source. They looked at lung biopsies from 17 women and men, ages 19 to 67, with vaping injuries, including two who had died. The biopsies also showed brown and black particles in some samples that looked like burnt particles found in the lungs of tobacco smokers.
Risks For Senior Citizens
“Vaping has the same health risks and consequences for older adults as it has for younger adults,” says Jamie Garfield, a pulmonologist at the Temple Lung Center in Philadelphia.
National numbers tell the story. Among 26 confirmed vapin deaths, the median age was 49, according to the CDC’s latest tally.
And, if you have a lung problem like chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) which is common in older adults, your risk for lung disease and heart attack increases even more.
Vaping: Where To Go From Here?
If you’re addicted to nicotine, it’s obvious that real cigarettes and e-cigarettes are now out of the question. You can’t go back. So, what to do? Nicotine replacement options include inhalers, sprays, patches and gum. The FDA-approved medications Chantix (varenicline tartrate) and Zyban (bupropion hydrochloride) can help by making smoking less pleasurable.
This crisis might actually be a wake-up call to you to stop smoking altogether.
Smoking tobacco causes cancer, heart disease, diabetes and crippling lung diseases like COPD.
There are over 480,000 preventable deaths each year in the U.S., according to the CDC.
In a recent study of 15,456 smokers who started e-cigarettes as a way to quit tobacco, 71 percent of those age 65-plus were still smoking regular cigarettes along with e-cigarettes three months later.
Stop smoking, stay healthy and live long.